Munchies

Here’s What the President of Iceland Told Us About the ‘Pineapple Pizza Ban’

Intrigued by a recent tirade against Hawaiian pizza, we reached out to President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson of Iceland to find out what he really meant.
February 23, 2017, 5:03am

This article originally appeared on MUNCHIES.

Pineapple pizza is a strange and polarising food, to say the least.

Some hate it, while others are completely obsessed with it. Some use it as a weapon of political dissent, and its fruity topping may even have been the motive behind one of the most famous unsolved mysteries in American history.

And now, pineapple pizza is back in the news in characteristically bizarre fashion. According to local news site Visir, President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson of Iceland said that if he had the power to do so, he would ban the dish across the Scandinavian island nation of 323,000.

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The despotic statement was made in response the to a student who asked him what he thought of the controversial combination during a high school visit in Northern Iceland, triggering Iceland's own (decidedly less creepy) version of Pizzagate.

Not long after the president's comments were made public, #PineappleOnPizza began trending on Twitter, reigniting an old and futile debate about the validity of the fruit as a pizza topping.

Intrigued, MUNCHIES Denmark editor Lars Hinnerskov Eriksen reached out to Jóhannesson to find out why the hell he went on a pineapple tirade in front of a bunch of high school students, and received a prompt response.

 
"Dear Mr. Eriksen
 
The President of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson asked me to convey to you the following:
Dear Lars,
 
Thanks for the email. The pineapple comment was just a tongue-in-cheek joke, or a joke attempt, at a high-school meeting. I have no problems with news generating from it. I am not going to add to the debate myself, however 

Best wishes,
Guðni Th. Jóhannesson
Forseti Íslands | President of Iceland"

Apparently, President Jóhannesson was joking and quickly backtracked from a full-on pineapple-on-pizza ban, perhaps concerned about the political capital incurred by taking sides on such a controversial issue. Thankfully, because of the division of powers, the President of Iceland doesn't have the power to pass laws unilaterally, nor does he have the inclination to issue shotgun-blast executive orders like his American counterpart.

But as we have seen stateside, we have to hold truth to power when a president speaks about bans, even if it's just over Hawaiian pizza.